Whilst vaguely on the topic of acting, it struck me a while back that the reason that some very famous musicians can’t act is because their musical persona is a performance in itself – so, Madonna is a performance, Sting is a performance, and so on, and if you see them in a film, they’re obviously playing themselves. To expect someone who has honed a single persona and made a huge success of it, to shed this role completely and pretend to be someone different again, is a bit of a stretch.
Interestingly, The Rock manages to be The Rock while also being Dwayne Johnson. He takes the piss out of his persona while simultaneously being that persona. And does it really well. In Be Cool, one of his first performances in film he self-deprecates the idea of someone who looks good and wants to be in the movies, and who can raise and eyebrow, while actually being someone who looks good and wants to be in the movies, and can raise an eyebrow.
I think that takes humility. It takes sense of humour.
Schwarzeneggar did the same. At a time when the film world was looking for small, wiry, edgy ‘actors’ like Duston Hoffman and Robert DeNiro, along came Arnold, built like a Greek god, and not particularly cool or edgy. Hercules in New York is many things, but it aint cool and it aint edgy. And the accent? Movie suicide. But he pushed through and helped create the action hero genre as we know it.
But on consideration, Sting and Madonna can act. They’re already acting, as Sting, and Madonna.